Attending the Institute of Hawaiian Music over here in Maui has taught me an amazing amount about music and life.
I’ve been fortunate enough to open up George Kahumoku’s Slack Key Show in Napili a few times over the past few weeks. Being around and performing for world class musicians every week really forces you to step up your game and present yourself well. Here are some things I’ve picked up on during my OJT – On the Job Training.
- Always wear long pants onstage. No one (especially the camera guy) wants to see your knees.
- Keep an eye on the clock. They’ve got a show to run and you’re a guest. Fill the gaps they want you to fill, but no more.
- Make sure your gear is in perfect working condition. The sound guy shouldn’t have to find you an extra cable or do a ton of EQ-ing to make you sound good.
- Tune – because you care.
- Keep the crowd informed. Let them know that this is just the “pre-show show”. Otherwise they get worried.
- Introduce your songs. (Unless you are playing background music in a bar.) Most of the time, guests who come to the show (Jeff Peterson, Ledward Kaapana, Bruddah Noland) talk just as long as they play.
- Learn to roll your cables right. You are helping a lot less if you roll up everyone’s cables wrong. Hold the end of the cable, jack facing you in your left hand, and wrap clockwise.